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Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...

Article

Mariana Katzarova

(b Dolni Dŭbnik, nr Pleven, July 24, 1901; d Sofia, Jan 23, 1958).

Bulgarian cartoonist, illustrator, draughtsman, painter, teacher, editor and critic. In 1926 he studied painting at the Academy of Art, Sofia, and although he was later known for his paintings, he achieved greater fame as a political and social cartoonist and newspaper and magazine illustrator. His early cartoons are courageous commentaries on political events in Bulgaria from 1925 to 1934, wittily satirizing the monarchy and dictatorships. He also mocked the machinations of the various bourgeois political parties as they fought for power. Among his most celebrated cartoons are the Kidnapping of the Constitution and the Tsar’s Family, published in the Sofia newspapers Zemedelsko Zname and Sturetz, as well as Suvremennik and other left-wing publications. He also illustrated the series Spanish Chronicle (1936). In 1940 he began freelancing for the anti-Fascist satirical newspaper Sturshel (Sofia) and in 1941 became its editor. During World War II he executed many political cartoons opposing Fascism and Nazism (e.g. ...

Article

Hans Frei

(b Winterthur, Dec 22, 1908; d Zurich, Dec 9, 1994).

Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, industrial designer, graphic designer and writer. He attended silversmithing classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924 to 1927. Then, inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Paris, by the works of Le Corbusier and by a competition entry (1927) for the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva, by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer (1894–1952), he decided to become an architect and enrolled in the Bauhaus, Dessau, in 1927. He studied there for two years as a pupil of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, mainly in the field of ‘free art’. In 1929 he returned to Zurich. After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg; although this adheres to the principles of the new architecture, it retains echoes of the traditional, for example in the gently sloping saddle roof....

Article

Alexandru Beldiman

(b Vienna, May 23, 1899; d Iaşı Nov 1, 1960).

Romanian architect, urban planner, painter, theorist and restorer. Descended from a Wallachian family of statesmen and scholars, he studied (1920–29) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, with Gustave Umbdenstock and G. Gromort. His work consistently showed Neo-classical and Renaissance influences, from the Palladian-style Chrissoveloni Bank (1928; with A. Schmiedigen), Bucharest, to the substantial number of buildings he completed in Romania during the 1930s. In many of these the classicist forms overlaid a sophisticated functionality in the planning, for example the IAR aeroplane factory (1933), Braşov. He also designed houses (e.g. in Amza Square, Bucharest, 1935), hotels (e.g. the Hotel Bellona on the Black Sea coast, 1934) and churches, such as those at Tetcani and Flǎmânda (1939), and he participated in the production of the master plan of 1935 for Bucharest. He was commissioned to design the Romanian Pavilion for the World’s Fair, New York (...

Article

Allan Doig

(b Utrecht, Aug 30, 1883; d Davos, Switzerland, March 7, 1931).

Dutch painter, architect, designer and writer. He was officially registered as the son of Wilhelm Küpper and Henrietta Catharina Margadant, but he was so convinced that his mother’s second husband, Theodorus Doesburg, was his father that he took his name. Little is known of his early life, but he began painting naturalistic subjects c. 1899. In 1903 he began his military service, and around the same time he met his first wife, Agnita Feis, a Theosophist and poet. Between about 1908 and 1910, much influenced by the work of Honoré Daumier, he produced caricatures, some of which were later published in his first book De maskers af! (1916). Also during this period he painted some Impressionist-inspired landscapes and portraits in the manner of George Hendrik Breitner. Between 1914 and 1915 the influence of Kandinsky became clear in such drawings as Streetmusic I and Streetmusic II (The Hague, Rijksdienst Beeld. Kst) and other abstract works....

Article

Tim Benton

[Jeanneret, Charles-Edouard]

(b La Chaux de Fonds, Oct 6, 1887; d Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Alps-Maritimes, France, Aug 27, 1965).

Swiss architect, urban planner, painter, writer, designer and theorist, active mostly in France. In the range of his work and in his ability to enrage the establishment and surprise his followers, he was matched in the field of modern architecture perhaps only by Frank Lloyd Wright. He adopted the pseudonym Le Corbusier for his architectural work c. 1920 and for his paintings c. 1930. His visionary books, startling white houses and terrifying urban plans set him at the head of the Modern Movement in the 1920s, while in the 1930s he became more of a complex and sceptical explorer of cultural and architectural possibilities. After World War II he frequently shifted position, serving as ‘Old Master’ of the establishment of modern architecture and as unpredictable and charismatic leader for the young. Most of his great ambitions (urban and housing projects) were never fulfilled. However, the power of his designs to stimulate thought is the hallmark of his career. Before he died, he established the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris to look after and make available to scholars his library, architectural drawings, sketches and paintings....

Article

John Milner

[Lisitsky, El’ ; Lisitsky, Lazar’ (Markovich )]

(b Pochinok, Smolensk province, Nov 23, 1890; d Moscow, Dec 30, 1941).

Russian draughtsman, architect, printmaker, painter, illustrator, designer, photographer, teacher, and theorist.

After attending school in Smolensk, he enrolled in 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt, to study architecture and engineering. He also travelled extensively in Europe, however, and he made a tour of Italy to study art and architecture. He frequently made drawings of the architectural monuments he encountered on his travels. These early graphic works were executed in a restrained, decorative style reminiscent of Russian Art Nouveau book illustration. His drawings of Vitebsk and Smolensk (1910; Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus.), for example, show a professional interest in recording specific architectural structures and motifs, but they are simultaneously decorative graphic works in their own right and highly suitable for publication. This innate awareness of the importance of controlling the design of the page was to remain a feature of Lissitzky’s work throughout radical stylistic transformations. He also recorded buildings in Ravenna, Venice, and elsewhere in Italy in ...

Article

David Elliott

(Vladimirovich)

(b Bagdadi, Georgia, July 19, 1893; d Moscow, April 14, 1930).

Russian poet, critic, graphic designer and painter of Georgian birth. Although best known as a poet and playwright he studied painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1911–14) and, as a member of the Futurist group Hylea, was a pioneer of what later became known as Performance art. Mayakovsky’s family moved to Moscow on the death of his father in 1906, and he soon became involved in left-wing activities, for which he was repeatedly arrested. On passing the entrance examination of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in August 1911, his political activities shifted their focus to bohemian épatage. In the class for figure painting Mayakovsky met David Burlyuk, who with his brothers Nikolay Burlyuk (1890–1920) and Vladimir Burlyuk (1886–1917) and the ‘aviator poet’ Vasily Kamensky (1864–1961), formed the core of the Russian Futurist movement. Adopting a stance similar to that of Marinetti, whose Futurist manifesto (...

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

(José Sobral de)

(b Cape Verde, April 7, 1893; d Lisbon, June 15, 1970).

Portuguese painter, draughtsman and writer. His early caricatures attracted the attention of the poet Fernando Pessoa whose posthumous portrait he painted in 1954 (Lisbon, Câmara Mun.; replica, 1964, Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian). He choreographed, designed and danced in a number of ballets (1915–19), before spending a year (1919–20) in Paris. In 1925 two of his paintings were among those chosen to hang in the Lisbon café A Brasileira. After returning to Lisbon from a sojourn in Madrid (1927–32), he married in 1934 the painter Sara Affonso with whom he portrayed himself in a double portrait (1934–6; Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian). He retained the sinuous, elegant quality of his line which in the 1930s and 1940s owed a great deal to Picasso.

Almada’s most important pictorial projects were frescoes (see Portugal, fig.) for the two principal quays of the port of Lisbon: the Gare Marítima de Alcântara (...

Article

R. L. Harley Jr

(b Angri, Sept 7, 1905; d Prescott, AZ, Jan 23, 1999).

American photographer, painter, and theorist of Italian birth. After studying landscape architecture with his father Carlos Sommer in Brazil (1916–25) and at Cornell University (MA 1927), he worked as a landscape architect in Brazil until 1930. While in Switzerland convalescing after tuberculosis in 1930, he became interested in modern art and acquired his first camera. He moved to Tucson, AZ, in 1931 and settled in Prescott, AZ, in 1935. He held his first exhibition, of watercolours, in Chicago in 1934 and discovered the graphic aspect of musical scores. His interest in photography was increased after seeing prints by Edward Weston in 1936. He bought a large-format camera in 1938 and held his first one-man show as a photographer in 1946 (Santa Barbara, CA, Mus. A.). His links with European art were strengthened by his friendship with Max Ernst, whom he met in 1941.

In his work of ...

Article

Anna Bentkowska

(b Warsaw, Jan 1, 1936; d Warsaw, March 21, 1992).

Polish painter and critic. He trained as an architect at the Warsaw University of Technology (1952–9). While still a student he began to write reviews, mainly for the weekly Współczesność, and in 1962 he became its chief editor. He turned to painting at the suggestion of Artur Nacht-Samborski and Tadeusz Brzozowski, whose art he particularly valued. He also briefly worked on stage designs (1968–70). In spite of such biblical and literary titles as Tower of Babel (1960), Apparition (1965) and Birthday Card to Samuel Beckett (1986), Stajuda’s paintings almost eschew figuration and can be only vaguely associated with the world of objective appearances, as in Briareus (1967; Warsaw, N. Mus.), in which an outline of a figure may be discerned. His oil paintings have the delicacy of watercolours, with subtle tones and wash-like glazes applied in an elaborate technique. A baroque profusion of swirling forms gradually gave way to more restrained monochrome surfaces and simpler composition based on clear divisions (e.g. ...

Article

(b Minsk, Belorussia, Nov 21, 1893; d Łódź, Dec 26, 1952).

Polish painter, theoretician, typographer and draughtsman. On completion of his engineering studies at the Moscow Military Academy, he was drafted into the Tsarist army in 1914; seriously wounded, he subsequently began his artistic studies in the post-Revolutionary academies in Moscow, Vkhutemas and Inkhuk. In 1920–22 he was associated with Unovis, and during this period he was influenced by Suprematism, whose principles would in later years form the basis of his polemics. In 1921 he married the sculptor Katarzyna Kobro, and at the beginning of 1922 they both moved to Poland. He published his first articles on the Russian avant-garde in the Kraków periodical Zwrotnica in 1922. Strzemiński organized the Wystawa Nowej Sztuki (‘Exhibition of new art’) in Wilno (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1923, which acted as a manifesto of Polish Constructivism; he exhibited Suprematist architectural projects, Cubist paintings and Synthetic Compositions as well as Suprematist abstract works constructed from simple forms in contrasting colours. With Strzemiński’s help, in ...

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....

Article

(b Warsaw, Feb 24, 1885; d Jeziory, Polesie, Sept 17, 1939).

Polish writer, art theorist, painter and photographer . He was the son of the architect, painter and critic Stanisław Witkiewicz (1851–1915), creator of the ‘Zakopane style’ ( see Poland, Republic of §II 3. ). He spent his childhood in Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains and was educated at his family home, a place frequented by artists and intellectuals, and also through his many travels to Eastern and Western Europe. From his wide acquaintance with contemporary art, he was particularly impressed by the paintings of Arnold Böcklin. Witkiewicz’s often interrupted studies (1904–10) under Józef Mehoffer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków had less influence than his lessons in Zakopane and Brittany with Władysław Slewiński, who introduced him to the principles of Gauguin’s Synthetism. Witkiewicz abandoned the naturalism of his first landscapes, executed under the influence of his father, rejected linear perspective and modelling and began to use flat, well-contoured forms and vivid colours, as in ...